How Phil Mickelson Helped Brendan Steele Claim His First Win In Six Years At LIV Golf Adelaide

The 41-year-old American says he continues to improve even at his age thanks to his HyFlyers captain, Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson speaks to Brendan Steele following Steele's win at LIV Golf Adelaide
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Brendan Steele says Phil Mickelson was a “big reason” for his victory at LIV Golf Adelaide, as the 41-year-old American won for the first time in more than six years.

Steele claimed a one-shot victory over Louis Oosthuizen at the Grange Golf Club thanks to a four-under 68 in the final round.

The three-time PGA Tour winner, who joined LIV in 2023, last won in October 2017 at the then-titled Safeway Open. 

Speaking to media after clinching his win and the $4 million check, Steele opened up about his close relationship with Mickelson, saying he relies on the HyFlyers GC captain for advice on both his golf and mental game. 

“I lean on Phil pretty hard with everything, with how to hit shots around the green, how to approach things,” he said. “He's one of the best players ever, and he can give me advice. If he's going to give me advice, I'm going to take it. 

“I definitely want to listen to him, and he's helped me a ton with everything from wedge play, short game, mental game. Just instilling confidence in myself, and he's a big reason I'm sitting up here.”

Steele claimed the 36-hole lead heading into the final day thanks to rounds of 66 and 64. However, the nerves started to hit as he looked to return to the winners’ circle once again.

“I'm pretty nervous all the time. I think that's just my DNA,” he said. “I really want to play well all the time, so it was about kind of overcoming that and trying to be as free as I could be, and I felt great with how I executed, even despite being very nervous.”

Steele revealed a conversation he had with Mickelson prior to the final round, which “reframed” his mindset and ultimately helped him shake off the jitters.

“He was like, ‘How are you feeling? What are you thinking?’ I said, ‘Well, if I can play freely like I did the last couple days, I feel like I'll have a good chance.’ He's like, ‘That's great. Let's reframe it. Let's make it when I play freely, I can play freely, I will play freely. Let's reframe it into that.’

“I was saying, ‘And then I think it'll be good enough.’ He's like, ‘No, it will be good enough, you will play freely. This is what you need to do.’ So that was what I was trying to do.”

Brendan Steele holds the trophy after his LIV Golf Adelaide win

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Steele admitted the nerves reached a fever pitch on the 18th hole when he was left with a tricky 100-yard wedge shot into the green and needed a par to secure the victory.

But once again, Steele credited Mickelson for helping him perform when it mattered as he nailed his approach to within 10-feet, before two-putting for the win.

“That was pretty wild. I was terrified over that wedge shot, to be honest, because it's a really tough shot. I need to get it over the tier but not go into the back bunker. I've got 10,000 fans in the fairway kind of right on top of me.

“Fortunately all the work that I've put in over the off-season with Phil in his backyard and all the help that he's given me, it really paid off with that shot specifically.”

Steele shared a warm embrace with Mickelson after the win, which was the first time a HyFlyers player had won on the tour.

He revealed what Mickelson told him as they hugged, adding that he continues to improve even at his age thanks to the six-time Major champ.

“He was just telling me how proud he is of me and how he knew this was coming and he thinks it's going to set off a lot of really good things for me,” Steele said of their special moment after the win.

“Just for him to have that belief in me is really great. He's the reason that I'm here and the reason that I'm improving. To be honest, I'm 41 years old and I'm getting better, and it's mostly because of him. It's really great.”

Joel Kulasingham
News Writer

Joel Kulasingham is freelance writer for Golf Monthly. He has worked as a sports reporter and editor in New Zealand for more than five years, covering a wide range of sports including golf, rugby and football. He moved to London in 2023 and writes for several publications in the UK and abroad. He is a life-long sports nut and has been obsessed with golf since first swinging a club at the age of 13. These days he spends most of his time watching, reading and writing about sports, and playing mediocre golf at courses around London.